In between our own personal projects, and the projects we decide to turn into random competitions, there’s the occasional project that Jenn and I both love enough just-as-is to commit to collaboration on. If I think really hard about it, plaster-coated silk flowers were the first project that we both saw en mass on Pinterest and thought “hey, we should save that for if we ever start the blog we keep joking about.”
Honestly, this had all the makings of a perfect project.
Supplies readily available and imminently affordable?
Internet rife with clear, consistent, and blessedly simple instructions, with universally successful outcomes?
I feel like I should make some up-front disclosures:
One, I am not a big fan of fake flowers. Because…they’re fake. They’re fake and weird and fake and make me feel like I’m about to be thrown a retirement party and honestly I think I’ve satisfied my crazy-old-lady quotient just by having a cat, you know?
Two: I also don’t do candles, and actually, it’s because of the cat. Who habitually jumps onto counters. Where candles might be lit.
Trust me, the smell that happens when you shove a smoldering cat under a faucet because he crash-landed on your latest scented acquisition is enough to put you off for life, and if you’re lucky enough to have a cat stupid enough to do it twice? In the same week?
Well, let’s just say that there’s a reason no one makes a Scorched Feline scent. Yankee Catastrophe, for real.
Despite these fundamental facts, I had high hopes for this project. Had. HAD. Long story short: plastered flower tea light holders? I should have known better.
It seemed so simple:
Find some structurally-spectacular fake flowers.
Take 2 parts plaster of paris to 1 part cold water, add extra water to thin as needed. Dip flowers, shake excess, and repeat the ol’ dip-and-shake until PRESTO, MAGIC, A PERFECTLY COATED AND PRESERVED FLORAL FORM EMERGES.
Real-world instructions based on the actual events as they occurred in my kitchen:
Take 2 parts plaster of paris to 1 part cold water, add extra to thin to dipping consistency. Dip flowers, end up with near-immediate clotty seizure of white goo that looks like someone replaced my plaster with mashed potatoes. Panic, flail, shake, dip again, PANIC AND FLAIL MORE.
Attempt to reshape the rapidly-hardening yet still weirdly-floppy plaster splodge back into a flower shape. End up with slightly floral pancake. Be amazed at how you can still see the flower’s original barely-there peach shade now blazing fluorescently orange through the inch-thick potato-chalk.
Realize you can’t take pictures because you’ve accidentally casted your own hands up to the elbow. Panic-wash hands, sparing a moment’s regret for the dishes you now wish you’d cleared out of the sink before starting this. Thin plaster more. Attempt dipping again with much smaller, less complicated flowers.
Fail only slightly less. Wash hands again. Discover that this second hand-wash took just long enough for the plaster to go from dippably-liquid to moldably solid. Give up and use this as an excuse to express your feelings on the project in freeform plaster format.
Go ahead and grade yourself on a generous curve for overall project excecution.
Clearly, this plaster flower project was NOT the kind of “plastered” this girl was meant to achieve.